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Adaptivity of wayfinding strategies in a multi-building ensemble: The effects of spatial structure, task requirements, and metric information

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84081

Büchner SJ, Meilinger,  T
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hölscher, C., Büchner SJ, Meilinger, T., & Strube, G. (2009). Adaptivity of wayfinding strategies in a multi-building ensemble: The effects of spatial structure, task requirements, and metric information. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29(2), 208-219. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2008.05.010.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-C458-3
Abstract
This study investigates the adaptivity of wayfinding strategies in a real-world setting of a multi-building ensemble. Familiarity with the environment, map usage and verbal vs. visual task instructions were systematically varied. Measures included path choices, wayfinding performance and information usage. Thirty-two participants had to find eight goals in a multi-level building ensemble consisting of two distinctive building parts. It was tested whether the standard wall-mounted floor maps found in the majority of public buildings can help navigation in a complex unknown environment. Unfamiliar users tried to make use of these plans more frequently, but were not able to compensate for spatial knowledge deficits compared to participants familiar with the setting. Two strategies of multi-level wayfinding were compared with respect to a region-based hierarchical planning approach. Strategy selection could be shown to be highly adaptive to spatial properties of the environment as well as characteristics of the task instruction, i.e., spatial precision of target information. Overall, the strategy of moving horizontally into the target building prior to vertical travel was shown to be more effective in this multi-building setting.